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Plate Setter and other Temperature Questions

Sorry for the newbie questions, but I didn't see them answered anywhere else.

I love the Egg, but I'm not really getting the plate setter.  I know the theory, but I've got a few problems with it: 

1.  Being a big rock, it seems to add a lot to the time it takes to preheat the egg.  Is this just something people plan around?  I think it takes an extra 30 minutes, with top off, and intake wide open.

2. Yesterday I put a spatchcock chicken on a grid raised over the setter, with some peppers, potatoes, and onions in a pan underneath.  Following directions I'd seen on the web, I cooked the potatoes for 40 minutes and the other veggies for 20.  They were not even close to done (chicken was perfect after an hour of cooking).  Is this normal?  Perhaps I had too many cold vegetables stacked on each other?

3.  If my directions say preheat to 350, and I stuff a lot of cold food in when I start, I have been opening the air intake and taking the top off to get the temp back to 350.  Is this the right approach?  Or do I just give it time to reach on it's own?

4.  Almost every recipe that uses the plate setter calls for a drip pan.  If I don't need to catch juices?  Can I just cover the plate setter with aluminum foil?  Or just leave bare?  

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 6,090
    Welcome to the chaos!. 
    For indirect cooks I put the setter in as soon as I take my electric starter out, about 8 minutes. The lump is going near the front on the top, bottom vent open full, top off. I put the setter in, legs up, some spacers to raise the drip pan off the setter to keep drippings from burning - I use some scrap tile strips others use wads of foil; drip pan, which is a 12" pizza pan wrapped in foil - perfect for a medium egg; cooking grid and my Maverick pit probe, position the probe over a setter leg where it is protected from direct burning lump. 
    If the target is 350, I set my Maverick alarm for 325. When the alarm sounds, I put on the DFMT and adjust for what I think to be 350 settings. Experience is the guide. Wait for clear smoke.
    When you put food in, the temp will drop, but if the egg is stable, it will come back in a few minutes. Don't chase the temp. 
    Sounds like you had the veggies piled under the chicken and above the setter. The chicken blocks the heat from the dome, so your veggies only get heat from below. If they are in a pan protected by the setter, the heat is going around them, they will take longer. You may have the answer that you piled too many in one pan. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,653
    1.  I plan around the platesetter, usually my method is let the egg start amping up, and gradually step by step I add platesetter, close vents, and go from there.  I say vents, but really I only use the bottom vent 90% of the time.

    2.  It's hard to say with the veggies, maybe the person from the recipe liked the veggies that way?  I would just adjust and cook them a bit longer until you find your ideal veggie cook.

    3.  I don't worry about it because the temperature will fix itself with the vent settings.

    4.  I only use a drip pan if it is a cook that will be excessively gross, I always use a drip pan for a brisket or a pork butt, nothing will happen other than white smoke and the fat will eventually seep out of the pores of the egg.  For a faster cook, like spatchcock chicken I do not use a drip pan.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    The veggie problem can be solved by remembering the next time you do this type of cook, put the veggies in  maybe 15 to 30 minutes early.  I have been cooking different side veggies and like spagetti squash or baked potato i start about 15 minutes before the spatchcocked chicken.  That way it all finishes at the same time.  If i'm spatchcocking a chicken with cornon the cobb, it all starts at the same time, and finishes at the same time..
  • carter422carter422 Posts: 58
    If you want to get the temp up faster you can get a Hi-Que grate.
  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    I agree with @Skiddy - I put the PS in right after lighting,  leave bottom and top vents wide open but DOME closed. If you're diligent about ash removal you can get that arrangement stabilized at 400 in under 30 min. I usually overshot the temp by about 10-20 degrees then add the Daisy wheel and dial it down. Like he said,  don't chase the temp!   Wait for it to stabilize and it will come right back after you add the food. 

    One tip for potatoes and veggies in the drip pan (which come out awesome after soaking up the chicken juice) - cut into bite sized pieces and make sure to put in at room temp (not straight from fridge).  If so,  they'll be done at the same time as your spatchcock. Good luck! 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,524
    Welcome aboard-all good info above.  Many on here willing to answer questions so keep them coming.  And many different ways to achieve the same end-results.  As you experiment, keep track of what works and what doesn't.  Change it up to suit your preferences and enjoy the journey.
    Louisville
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 12,495
    I actually cut my veggies the size of the baby bellas I use. I've found too small and they get mushy. rub with evo, s&p and put a little chicken broth in the pan... maybe the broth speeds it up?
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
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